I spend most of my waking hours working. After work, I prioritise physical training and practice. Sometimes I have an idea for a blog post here and sketch out a rough draft, then don’t find the time to write it up into cogent, well-presented form. I have 21 such drafts now. I like to think carefully about the presentation of ideas, make sure that I’ve researched them well and that they’re clearly articulated.
A meticulous approach seems important because my view of Buddhism, and of Tantric practice, is somewhat non-conformist. Expressing ideas that run contrary to contemporary mainstream assumptions – even when they draw on historical precedent – requires care and consideration.
On the other hand, 21 drafts will eventually become 44 drafts, then 108 drafts with zero output, which isn’t much use to anyone. So I intend to start posting a few unpolished brain-dumps in order to begin to construct an alternative, practical approach to meditation and practice: one quite different from popular approaches espoused by the mindfulness movement, books like Daniel Ingram’s Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha and Culadasa’s The Mind Illuminated.
Both these are excellent books, exemplars of a distinct tradition and world view. Eventually, I’d like to present something similar in kind for a Vajrayana-influenced approach to meditation. That may never happen: life is short, brimful with competing priorities like earning a living. But in the meantime, I’ll post occasional, unfinished finger-paintings here, pointing in that direction.
Nothing I say will be new, though I may use new terminology and language. My approach to meditation and life-practice was embedded in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism for more than a couple of decades. My core influences are teachings and books by Ngakpa Chogyam and Khandro Déchen and other Lamas in the Dzogchen Nyingma tradition. My view has shifted and developed over years alongside multiple, intertwining threads of conversation about Life, the Universe and Everything, with my partner David.